Posted by: HIM | 9 October 2009

Welcome to Our New Home

We have moved!

Posted by: HIM | 31 August 2009

Migrating to Our New Home


This week, James Loke concludes on this subject as he elaborates on How Accountability Works.

Accountability is much related to openness and transparency.

Paul was voluntarily transparent in administering financial matters in 2 Corinthians 8:20-21.  He wanted not only to be blameless but to be seen as blameless.

Accountability is not just dutiful reporting.  It reinforces trust revives synergistic forces between a leader and his followers.  Honest straightforward communication can powerfully bind team members together in the same direction and strengthen relations and trust as a leader leads the entire church to achieve what God has called the church to do.

Accountability does not mean explaining every measure implemented by the leader.  In moments of crisis it is not expedient to hold meetings and explain everything.  But the leader must be willing to give an account when called upon to do so at the appropriate time.

Being accountable also does not mean that a leader should sacrifice all privacy for himself and his family.  The church should not make the same demands on their leaders as the public makes on movie stars or public figures.  The constant nuisance by the paparazzi has not made movie stars more accountable in their behavior.

There has to be a balance and followers cannot expect or demand too much.  They should be careful not to ask their leaders to account unnecessarily so that they can have freedom to lead without being bogged down by frivolous explaining.

Some other key attitudes that would help accountability in leadership are:


1 Peter 5 reminds us that a good leader sets inspiring examples instead of acting merely as a commander-in-chief.  When leaders “walk the talk”, they will be inspirational.


Leaders will continually face temptation to think more highly or lowly of themselves than they are.  We are all instructed by Paul to evaluate our lives with “sober judgment” in Romans 12:3.  Leaders could be tempted to believe that they are above giving an account to anyone.


Accountability works best when leaders are honest.  There is always the possibility that a leader will want to look good and provide justification for wrong decisions and misguided policies rather than honestly admit his fault and apologize for his mistake.

When Accountability Fails

Accountability starts to fail if a person sins, or has a besetting sin, which is not confessed and dealt with. This occurs because of the pride of the sinner who does not want his guilt exposed and because of his shame he is unwilling to honestly face his problem. As a result he has to hide his wrong behaviour. In this condition, the sinning leader finds it difficult to reveal the truth and it may take some time before it becomes apparent to those around that something is wrong. The sinning leader seems to have a compartment of his life that he is unwilling to reveal to others.  If the sin continues it is likely that lies will be told to hide the truth.

Ultimately, it is very doubtful that a church should or can implement procedures or structures to enforce accountability. This is why it is very important that a leader walks in the light in fellowship with the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:5-9). The only way that these kinds of problems can be detected early is through the discernment of the Spirit.  Leaders need to be empowered by the Spirit and walk close to God; only in this way can God begin to deal with sin in the camp.


Biblical leaders are required to give an account for their work and ministry.  There is a 360° accountability to superiors, peers and followers although the aspects of accountability to each group are different.  Leaders need to walk close to God to give a good account for their life and ministry.

We thank Ian Foley, Prakich Treetasayudh and Wilson Lim who provided valuable comments to an earlier draft of this article.

Last week, we covered the Need for Biblical Accountability. In this post, we bring you Part 2 of 3 on this subject written by James Loke.

Who Do Leaders Account To?

Leadership accountability involves three spheres:

To Senior Leadership

Leaders have to account to those over them, other more senior leaders or if no one else, God Himself.  The concept of accountability in this sphere is straightforward, like that of every believer who accounts to the Lord after this life (1 Th 5:12-13). There is a major difference in operation as the Lord knows everything about our stewardship but the senior leader may not.  Accountability would require the leader to tell his senior leader relevant information in his life and ministry that would help the senior leader to oversee him effectively (Heb 13:17).  Even a leader may have blind spots and a senior leader, who is more matured and experienced in life and ministry, would help the former do the work of the ministry more fruitfully.  An important example of top leadership accountability is seen in the life of Moses who was publicly rebuked and judged by God in Num 20:11-12.

To Peers

In the New Testament, leadership is always plural.  This is demonstrated by elders operating in plurality in the New Testament churches, with other elders in the same local church or with elders in other churches.  No leader was exempt from having to account to his peers.  At the highest level of apostleship, Peter was still accountable to Paul.  Paul had no qualms to rebuke him regarding segregating himself away from the Gentiles in the presence of Jews (Gal 2:11-14).  Gal 6:1-2 holds us responsible to be our brother’s keeper.

To Followers

Church members have willingly placed themselves under the leadership.  Leaders owe it to followers to regularly communicate where and how they are leading them.  There is clear evidence that the apostles practiced this.  In Acts 6, the apostles were accountable to the believers for the running of the church and came up with a novel idea of administration by a new team of deacons when their time conflicted with other priorities of prayer and ministry of the Word.  In Acts 11, Peter explained to the believers why he visited Cornelius, a Gentile.  Paul and Barnabas gave an account of their missionary journey to the church at Antioch (Acts 14:26-27).

Accountability in this sphere should not be misunderstood that the leaders are subservient to the followers.  The accountability of the leaders to the followers arises from a partnership in serving God together.  However, the leaders and the followers have distinct roles in this partnership with leaders leading.

How Accountability Works

Many churches have built-in accountability structures.  These structures do have some effectiveness but accountability works best when the leader himself has the right internal makeup.

Accountability works best with good relationships.  When Adam was having his walks with God in the evenings, he probably discoursed with God all he needed to tell His maker regarding his stewardship of the Garden of Eden.  There was no need to invite God, the shareholder, for an Annual General Meeting to report on the fruitfulness in the Garden.  When we have close relationships with those around us, we will not fear being judged by them.

Accountability provides both needed discipline and support for the leader.  The leader knows that whatever he does will affect others and he may have to give an answer, explicitly or implicitly.  He may be evaluated by his superiors, challenged by his peers, or asked for an answer by his juniors.  Accountability can be a support system because when accountability is functioning properly superiors can give better advice with better knowledge, peers can chip in to shoulder issues when needed, and juniors know how they can help support the leader for best results.

….. to be continued in the next post.

We thank Ian Foley, Prakich Treetasayudh and Wilson Lim who provided valuable comments to an earlier draft of this article.

The last few decades have seen the rise of many gifted church leaders who have successfully grown large churches. Their successes have resulted in huge amounts of trust placed on them. They operate as senior leaders in local churches with sole authority in many instances. Unfortunately, some of them have fallen into sin. This has given rise to greater attention to the issue of accountability. In this post, we bring you Part 1 of 3 on this subject written by James Loke.

Biblical Accountability

Biblical accountability is universal. Every Christian, after his life on earth, will account to the Lord Jesus regarding his stewardship of the gifts, talents and all that was entrusted to him in his lifetime.

Accountability comes with the role of Christian leadership. Those who take up Christian leadership embrace a responsibility to serve the Lord together with those they are serving with. The leader, implicitly or explicitly, can expect his life and actions to become fair game for public scrutiny. It is also expected of him to explain his decisions and actions if called upon to do so. In other words, a Christian leader has to be accountable by embracing responsibility, being transparent and answerable.

In this context, accountability is more than responsibility. For example, a care group leader can be responsible and finish all the tasks assigned to him but he may not be too concerned about how the work is done nor how it is viewed by others. One can be responsible yet not accountable. Accountability is an individually held sense of duty to account to others for one’s assignments.

The Need for Accountability

Fallen man is self-centred
The sinful nature causes humans, including Christians, to possibly make selfish decisions. It is not natural for fallen man to decide for the collective good; he has to change his paradigm for decision-making to make good decisions as a leader. Accountability encourages the leader to make decisions that would benefit the overall community since he has to be responsible for them, and accountability ensures trust which fosters unity and confidence.

Fallen man needs checks and balances
Fallen man can be tempted to wander from righteous principles, resulting in an abuse of authority. Lord Acton once said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Leaders are likely to have their own biases and deficiencies. In addition to the Holy Spirit who guides spiritual leaders, checks and balances could take the form of organizational accountability structures, or godly mentors and peers.

God made men to work in teams
It is in God’s order that He invests different yet complementary gifts in leaders in the church so that they work best as a team. The Ephesians 4 ministry gifts are five-fold in nature, the Holy Spirit sovereignly dispenses nine spiritual gifts to different believers in 1 Corinthians 12, and various other gifts to different ones in Romans 12.

God’s idea is for plurality in leadership so that they can sharpen one another. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) Even godly leaders do need some help. In a local church, a gifted teacher may emphasize too much on studying the Bible at the expense of winning lost souls. But when that teacher is partnered with an evangelist, the burden of winning lost souls is transmitted to the congregation as well.

….. to be continued in the next post.

We thank Ian Foley, Prakich Treetasayudh and Wilson Lim who provided valuable comments to an earlier draft of this article.

Posted by: HIM | 16 July 2009

President’s Post

Dear Members of HIM,

Pastor Simon Eng

Pastor Simon Eng

In late June, PN wrote to a number of people in HIM, alleging that leaders of HIM had left HGI in a wrong manner, and called on HIM members to re-join him. A blogspot in English reiterated the same message. PN has given incomplete information and also misrepresented the facts.

We parted with the former leadership of HGI for a few reasons:

  1. DJ and PN had disqualified themselves as elders according to biblical standards. PN was involved in adultery for an extended period of time. Efforts to have him fully restored were opposed by DJ. DJ separated from his wife, and encouraged various church leaders and members to participate in religious ceremonies for his political purposes, causing other believers to stumble;
  2. They were not accountable to other leaders and members, especially in the area of finance. There are still ongoing investigations by the Hope of Thai People Foundation, which is the legal entity of the original Hope of Bangkok, regarding the misuse of funds involving these leaders;
  3. They maintained that they had acted biblically when their actions showed otherwise.

The procedure of our parting may have surprised PN but we have good grounds to do so because:

  1. DJ himself asked us to choose whether we wanted to continue with him as the apostolic covering, although he tried to backtrack later;
  2. PN was removed as president and Somthob suspended as vice-president according to the procedure spelt out by HGI Licensing Policy that they had approved themselves together with other HGI elders. The reason was because PN no longer met the biblical criteria to be an elder.

PN also alleged that the present HIM leadership is improperly appointed. Actually the HIM leadership is no different from the old HGI leadership minus the top leaders who disqualified themselves. I was the remaining elder that was untainted in the whole saga following the allegations by Rubina about leadership improprieties in Bangkok in October 2008. Together with the then RMCs in HGI, I took the needed leadership in HGI. We then decided to break from the past and revamped organisationally by replacing HGI with HIM.

We are concerned that the true motive of PN is to split the existing HIM churches so that he can regain some members.  We need to be aware of what has happened in Thailand since October 2008. After Rubina highlighted the misuse of funds in the Hope of Bangkok/Hope of Thai People Foundation, PN had little platform for ministry. On one occasion he was given a platform at the Windsor Hotel, Bangkok during which he managed to convince a portion of the daughter churches to come out of the Hope of Thai People Foundation umbrella.

He has continued this strategy in various forms all over Thailand. What used to be a unified family of Hope churches throughout Thailand is now fragmented into five or more groups. The church landscape in Thailand is a pitiful tragedy with brothers in Hope or ex-Hope churches fighting other brothers who used to worship together in the same church.  In the midst of all this happenings, hundreds and perhaps thousands have stopped coming to church or moved to other (non-Hope) churches.

What PN is doing sounds too familiar for us not to raise the warning that he may very well attempt to do internationally what he did in Thailand. It is unusual for an outside party to write directly to you about your leaders bypassing and not even informing us. Regardless of his arguments, it seems obvious to us that he wants to have a direct communication with HIM members and very likely influence members or even leaders to leave existing HIM churches to join him.

If you have further questions, please talk to your pastor directly. Alternatively, you can write to our central HIM office through We have set up this new email address to address any issues and concerns you may have about PN’s actions.

Let us remain united together in HIM, and continue on the new chapter which we have established and are forging ahead to continue to plant churches and fulfil God’s Great Commission in our localities, countries and all over the world.

In Christ,
Pastor Simon Eng

Posted by: HIM | 26 June 2009

HIM Tagline

The tagline chosen to complement our new corporate identity is:


For us to plant biblical and vibrant churches in our city, country and all over the world, this move always entails a crossing beyond the bounds of our geographical home and country.

Likewise when Jesus said in Luke 9:23 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me; this call always requires every Christ-centred disciple to get beyond the boundaries of his various comfort zones.

Scout the territory beyond the horizon of your boundaries. It is here that we begin to experience any significant breakthrough for the Kingdom.  It is here that we will realise the beauty and fullness of all that God has prepared and purposed for us to experience.

The walk of faith is truly an adventure in living when we grow Beyond the Boundaries!

The winner of our Tagline Competition is …

Thean Lai EngThean Lai Eng of Hope Malaysia.
Lai Eng is none other than the beloved wife of Pastor Simon Eng.

In case you are wondering, the names of  all the 55 tagline submissions received were removed when presented to the Interim Leadership. This was deliberate to ensure impartiality in selecting the winner.

You can imagine how we were all pleasantly surprised when the name of the winning entry was revealed.

Congratulations Lai Eng! Enjoy your 32GB iPod touch.

Posted by: HIM | 19 June 2009

Hope Global Conference (GC)

Our first (re-named) GC is coming up!

Join Us!

Also for the first time, we bring you an address totally dedicated to the GC.

Here, you will find all the details and information you need, complete with online registration.

Check it out at

What a cool start to our 1st GC!

Posted by: HIM | 12 June 2009

President’s Post

Dear People of Hope,

Pastor Simon Eng

Pastor Simon Eng

Warmest Greetings in Jesus’ Wonderful Name!

After our wonderful time at the Kuching LC/GC, we are back to our respective localities. Many have testified of the significant times they had in Kuching. Praise God! May the challenge and inspirations received spur us on to a fruitful and effective few months ahead, till we meet again in August in Singapore.

Let me elaborate on what we plan to work on for the future.
I have categorised them under 4 “M”s.


We are still going for planting churches in all the known-nations of the world! This will not stop and the “detour” of the past few months will not cause us to lose sight of this goal.

In fact, we have assigned Pastor Willie to spear-head the push on this thrust. He and Cara will continue to focus on getting our Infrastructures right and ready; thus getting our pastors and leaders to keep up the momentum of planting more churches. Be ready to hear from them and of course, be ready to GO!

With this, Willie will coordinate all the goals that will be set by each Region and to work along with the pastors to reach those goals.


We realized that there are lots of things to be done, and we are getting our Group Heads to plan and develop various ministries to help our churches. Education, under James will be looking into materials and “courses” to help speed up the spiritual development of our people.

Church Growth, under Jeff, will be looking into helping our churches to grow beyond 100, 500 and 1,000! That’s a significant task and assignment. These are some of the ministries that will help in the progress of our churches. There are others too, but it is too long to write about them for now.


We realised the need to manage our manpower and resources well, as good stewards of our Lord. God has blessed us with many good hearted servants of God, and we need to mobilize them well.

Together with that, we are placing professionals, qualified personnel, to manage our financial resources and manpower. Angela, a qualified accounts graduate is looking after finance. Nicola, a well qualified sister, is on Human Resource. Then we have Hai Eng, a qualified management graduate with many years of banking experience, looking after the overall management systems. We are in good hands.


The church is called to rise to the maturity and fullness of Christ. We aim towards the maturity spoken of in Eph 4:11-16. We will be stable, spiritually growing and functioning as His mature members. What a revelation that will be to the world! It‘s a dream to see the church finally matured to His fullness, where presently, we see so much immaturity in the church.

Our teachings, our life examples and our times of worship should move us on to this quality and standard.

These are the FOUR areas (4Ms) we will continue to develop further. These are huge tasks. Pray for us.

Till I write the next time, God’s grace be over you and lead you into His Abundance!

Pastor Simon Eng

Posted by: HIM | 3 June 2009

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